Author Topic: Goatdog's Project 505  (Read 163266 times)

Goatdog62

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Goatdog's Project 505
« on: July 28, 2009, 06:54:03 PM »
  A dilemma I face is the distinct reality that a major SHTF situation could occur when I'm not home in TN. About 80% of my time is at least 505 miles away in Williamsburg or Yorktown VA, many times I am even further than that. If I'm overseas, I don't really have a chance to get home, but I'll die trying of course. If I'm stateside, I'm going for broke. My family and I have a BOL about 350 miles west of me and 150 or so east of them, but they are to stay put until I come get them. This rule, of course, is dependent on the situation. A radioactive cloud would certainly be reason to move out and wait for me at our eastern BOL. We also have BOL's prerarranged west, south, and north of our TN home.

The title of this thread is based on a suggestion given to me on another thread within TSP. I can't remember who you are but thank you.

  Should I need to get home, and things are really bad as far as overland travel goes, I'll need a reliable multi-purpose vehicle that will give me the best shot at getting there. Additionally, I'll have my Plan B. This would take effect if I had to bail from my BOV and hoof it. My BOB will be part of this thread and it is packed for long-term walking. I spent years humping a ruck through the world's terrain and try to keep myself in shape to do it again if I have to. If this happens I imagine it will be epic, similar to Cold Mountain. Not trying to romanticize it, I realize my chances drop significantly should I need to go to ground.

  In 2004, during one of my hitches in Iraq, I had a brand new 2004 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4WD V8 with third-row seating delivered to my wife after a personal tragedy (miscarriage). I didn't intend for it to replace our sorrow, just felt like bringing her out of a major slump. She was tickled pink with the gift and I felt it was the best $35k I'd ever spent (100% down, no payments ever plan). At the time a new, safe family vehicle was the right thing for us. We still had 3 out of 5 kids still at home and they fit just fine in there.

  In five years she put 34,800 miles on the truck. Now, after having yet another little girl (my son is the oldest and the five girls came out in a row after that), the four remaining kids are much bigger. Ages 16, 14, 7, and 2. Space was at a premium and I bought her a Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD. Then I stole her 4Runner. This truck is the basis for my BOV build. It is in outstanding condition and I've done all the maintenance on it myself.

I have some rules that I must abide by;

1. I don't want to ruin the BOV. While I only buy Toyota and keep them until they die of natural causes, I don't want to drive something that will be of no value and too weird. No permanent mods that only hold value for me. I have some experience with this. I previously BOV'd a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and did a pretty fair job. Later I stripped it back to it just being our mulch mover, dog transporter, kid stick-shift trainer, truck that will always be in the family.
2. In addition to the emergency BOV duty, it must serve as a daily driver, a kickass camping vehicle, maintain its 7000 lb towing capacity, look decent, and (with 30 minutes or less of work) revert back to carrying seven passengers.
3. It must have above-average off road capability but in no way do i intend it to become Bigfoot or Grave Digger. Those type vehicles are fun, but not all around great transportation. I will lift it a few inches, eventually I will go bigger on wheels and tires, I might go so far as adding the snorkel kit, I don't know for sure yet. I do know that I will carry plenty of recovery equipment and tools, compressors, etc that will help me be my own tow truck.
4. Can't be too high profile or dressed with bling for blings sake.
5. I will have fun.

The first thing I did was a top to bottom maintenance check. I found nothing worth noting. It is still on its original set of Michelins and I fear that I will have to replace them for just being old (and therefore UV damaged) long before the tread gets bad. They literally have 75%+ of their tread left and are perfectly balanced. Michelins cost more, but they have always been my tire of choice. The synthetic oil (Mobil1 5W-30) that I exclusively use has been a form of cheap insurance in all my vehicles. I won't be convinced to use dino oil ever again in anything. It is on the second set of brake pads and they looked great, so no issues stopping. All the other fluids were looking good and none were due for replacement yet, so I let that go for now. The timing belt won't be scheduled until I have 90k. I drive a lot more than my wife, so I figure 2 years or so.

Anyway, I have no set order in how I will do this, but I have already started. I immediately pulled out the middle row bench and put it in my TN home storage shed. It is wrapped in plastic and will be fine there. The rear two seats are quick release and mount in or dismount out in less than 30 seconds. So I took those with me to VA.



Size comparison to Sequoia





4.7 V8



When I removed the middle bench, I decided that the large void and uneven floor would be used to my advantage.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 02:37:00 PM by Goatdog »

Offline Klapton

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 07:05:41 PM »
Quote
Should I need to get home, and things are really bad as far as overland travel goes, I'll need a reliable multi-purpose vehicle that will give me the best shot at getting there. Additionally, I'll have my Plan B. This would take effect if I had to bail from my BOV and hoof it. My BOB will be part of this thread and it is packed for long-term walking. I spent years humping a ruck through the world's terrain and try to keep myself in shape to do it again if I have to. If this happens I imagine it will be epic, similar to Cold Mountain. Not trying to romanticize it, I realize my chances drop significantly should I need to go to ground.

Nothing romantic about it.  If it goes down like that, it's gonna SUUUUUUUCK!

Sounds like a neat project!  It should keep you busy for a while.  Will a winch be among your tools?  I'm not an off-roader or anything, but I've seen enough pictures of 4x4s being dragged out of something with a winch to know I'd want one if I was going off road in any serious manner.  Is there any stealthy way of putting a mount on the car for a winch?  (Just throwing out ideas here.)

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 07:20:55 PM »
I also decided I wanted dual battery capability. I previously had an Optima Bluetop as my second battery in the Tacoma (TacoBago was its nickname). I loved this battery and was happy to get to use it again. The Bluetop can be mounted sideways or upside down and needs no venting like a conventional battery does. I planned to install it behind the air cleaner with a Perko Battery Switch and isolator. This is as it was in the Tacobago. But then decided I wanted even more capability. So I decided that soon I would buy another Bluetop and keep this one as a portable. I'll get the dual battery setup going later. For now I took the current Bluetop and placed it inside a battery box that I had laying around.



They make boxes just for this purpose, but they cost around $45 and don't do any more than mine does.



I ran 6 ga wire to the terminals that I can use as recharging points, mounted a 12 volt outlet to it, and best of all mounted a 750 watt inverter with two 110 and one USB charger to the top.



Here it is inside one of my tents, the excess black wire on the tent floor is part of a LCD TV/DVD 12 volt power cord. The battery box is light enough to carry around the campsite and I use it for many power needs. I plan to buy a solar panel to recharge it for longer term camping trips, but it never seems to run down anyway. Additionally, a small Honda generator is in the cards.

I used styrofoam to make the battery fit tight and strapped the box shut. I plan to eventually build a storage bin within the 505 to keep it secure.



Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 08:16:57 PM »
I'm looking forward to more....

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 08:31:52 PM »
Nothing romantic about it.  If it goes down like that, it's gonna SUUUUUUUCK!

Sounds like a neat project!  It should keep you busy for a while.  Will a winch be among your tools?  I'm not an off-roader or anything, but I've seen enough pictures of 4x4s being dragged out of something with a winch to know I'd want one if I was going off road in any serious manner.  Is there any stealthy way of putting a mount on the car for a winch?  (Just throwing out ideas here.)


Way ahead of you Klapton. I plan on a winch (likely a Warn) that will be mountable in the rear tow hitch and the eventual front tow hitch. They do make hidden mounts but they seem to affect ground clearance or limit the winch's capability. A hitch that will be stored inside will reduce my signature, be out of the elements, and be versatile for front or rear situations. Currently I have an 8000 lb come-along, a tow chain, a snatch block, a tow rope, an e-tool, a jack (but getting a Hi-Lift soon), shackles and clevis', a compressor, and other things I'm probably forgetting. I also learned how to make your drive wheels (all 4 in my case) into a sort of winch mechanism (Army stuff).

Some recovery and safety stuff I have now;



Come-Along 4000 lb vertical lift, 8000 horizontal. The way we did things before winches (as broke redneck kids anyway).



Snatch block. A snatch block doubles the pulling power of a winch and/or allows you to change what direction you are being pulled from.



A real crowbar. Because shit happens.



A Fyr Fyter extinguisher. Actually have a couple from Northern Tool. You never know when one might save the day.



My 2 inch hitch and ball, booster cables, large tie down strap, 300 watt inverter, circuit tester, and WD-40. This all hides inside the right rear inside fenderwall panel.



Inside left fenderwall panel. Jack, and the collapsible 4-way lug wrench, road flares, ice scraper, and one of my survival kits. I'll cover the survival kits later, but I will say it is one of the best for my purposes.



Boltcutters. Because shit happens.



A 1 and 7/8ths hitch, Prodigy brake controller, soft tiedowns, spare fuses, and plug adapters. This box fits into the subfloor I built.



Additionally, in the subfloor, I've added a tow strap, bungee cords, 4 shackles, and 2 ratcheting tiedowns.



The e-tool, the siphon, the tire repair stuff ,and my air compressor.



The e-tool. It folds up and fits inside one of the ammo cans.



The siphon. I have one for fuel and one for water.



The slime tire repair sealant and the tire plug kit. A must have item for self-recovery. I'd use the Hi=Lift and vehicle weight to break the bead on the rim and the starter fluid method to remount it.



Starter fluid. Won't work on a fuel injected engine, but a three second burst into a unbeaded tire with a quick flick of the Bic and WHOOSH!...the tire is filled and ready to roll. Works really well and looks cool to watch too.



Prodigy Brake Controller. I have a 26' 2006 Travel Trailer at my western BOL.



Part of my vehicle access kit. The hotwire setup is for older vehicles. I also have but won't show my other tools that will allow me to have "options" and all kinds of other tricks. I never violate the law with this stuff, I break no law by owning it either. If SHTF I guess I might reassess my policy.



The 1 7/8ths hitch and ball.


The 7 into 4 plug adapter. I have a utility trailer that fits this and the 1 7/8ths.



The Slime 12 volt air compressor. Inflates a tire from flat to 40 lbs in three minutes.



Nice bag, accurate air gauge, accessory kit, and plugs into either a 12 volt (stock) or with the battery clamp adapter it attaches directly to the vehicle battery.



Has a nice light to help you with your poor vis tire problems. It only cost $52 at Wally World and I have used it to reinflate after beach driving in the Outer Banks recently. Plenty of air hose length and power cord length too. I like it.





The Res Q Me. Glass breaking and seatbelt cutting. Mine is 550'd to the drivers visor so it doesn't fall under the seat when I need it most. It can also be used as a keychain, but i avoid bulky keychains.

Most of this stuff will go in the subfloor, but a few things will be mounted elsewhere as I develop and experiment.











« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 04:27:58 PM by Goatdog62 »

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 08:39:09 PM »
This is AWESOME so far.  Thanks for posting it.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 08:44:50 PM »
I got rid of the stock stereo and added the Kenwood DNX 5140. It has a Garmin with traffic notification (my favorite GPS system), Bluetooth, DVD, CD, full iPod compatability including video, rear view camera, USB, AM/FM, and a bunch of stuff i may never use.



Garmin. My Yorktown cottage.






The phone is one of my favorite parts of the entire system. I tell it to dial whoever and it pauses anything else it is doing, dials, connects, and I talk without touching a thing (I can if I want to, but not necessary). It detects the phone in my pocket and I never have to fish it out. When we hang up, it unpauses and I listen to more Jack Spirko.



 It also is compatible with the rear seat DVD/game system in the back. Doubt I ever need it, but the kids sure as hell enjoyed it.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 09:24:44 PM »


I added another 12 volt that stays hot with the key off. Can't have too many of these. I think I'm up to five now.



I cut a shelf out of 3/4 inch plywood to even the floor where the middle bench was. I originally made a cardboard template to make sure i didn't screw it up.







I covered it with carpet that was 3M'd and staple gunned. I test fitted it. It looked pretty good and now my floor was even across its entire length (over 7').



Next, I bought a heavy duty truck bed mat and used the rear floormat and my newly-cut plywood insert to trace a template out on it. I used a silver Sharpie marker that is designed to write on dark surfaces.







I cut it with a new razor knife and made careful cutouts for the 4 tiedowns and rear seat mounts. This would allow me to keep all the capability it came with. The rubber mat helps protect the original carpet, deadens noises, and stops stuff from sliding back there.









I remounted one of the rear third row jump seats. It fit well and the leg room is limo-like. I love that, in 2 minutes, I can go from a two seat cargo vehicle with a 7 foot secure bed to a four seater.By flipping them up I retain most of the load capacity. In 20 minutes I can pull the insert out and bolt in the middle bench and have seven passenger seating again. So far, nothing isn't easily reversed back to stock.



I added Iggee seat covers. They match perfectly. I still have to tie and strap them in per the instructions, but they fit pretty good without that already. Very pleased.

Under the subfloor insert i built, I have the four ammo cans with recovery items, a small dome tent, a 4 season sleeping bag, and a few other items. I still have room for a 48" Hi-Lift Jack, the Come-Along, my M1 Carbine and several hundred rounds.







The Auto Ordnance M1 Carbine Tactical. I added a rail and have a red dot for it, but the irons work so well I just can't bring myself to put it on. Great shooting and very light rifle. This is not a WWII/Korea gun, it is a brand new production of one with a modern synthetic stock (Choate folding).

I now think I have a good "blank canvas" where I can really start to use my imagination.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 05:25:57 PM by Goatdog »

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 10:01:39 PM »
I stole this truck from my wife less than a month ago. Everything you see that I added/changed was done in that month. This was not easy as i was on an "away" for some time there also. But, when i get my head into a project i just can't stop.

I took it to the Outer Banks (Frisco NPS) a couple weeks ago. here is the write up of that trip (just a copy of the email i sent to my family);

  I took a break this weekend and headed to the Outer Banks, more specifically, Frisco National Park in Cape Hatteras NC. It rained hard all Friday night, but I did get my camp set up between showers. It was a nice spot between some sand dunes at the very back of the park. No one else was anywhere near me. On the way down from Kitty Hawk I began craving seafood but couldn't stop to eat because of encroaching nightfall and bad weather. On impulse, I stopped at a fresh seafood market and picked myself out the best looking piece of swordfish I could find. After setting up camp somewhat, I was starving. I started the coals and threw the fish on with some mango lime sauce, flashes of lightning threatening to zap me or my fish. Either one would piss me off. I didn't know how long to cook it, but when I felt things were right, I pulled it off. It was the best piece of fish I've ever had! It melted in my mouth. The stars came out in a circle just above my head and I gazed skyward as I literally gulped that poor fish. He needs to know his sacrifice was not in vain. I chased it down with a Corona as I listened to the next thunderstorm roll in. It pounded the tent and I felt like the last soul in the world as flashes lit the sky and the wind whipped at the fabric. It was almost like being at sea without the vomiting. The wind forced the water into the zippers. I wasn't dry and the humidity finished making sure I was wet. I slept fitfully as the kerosene lantern rocked back and forth creating shadows that startled me more than once.
   I awoke to the sound of the surf. It was cloudy out but I made some coffee and debated ending my trip right then and there. As if to answer, God sent a shaft of light right onto my tent. I decided to stay. I packed me a little ditty bag for the beach and hiked down the boardwalk. The gnarly growth stunted trees, ravaged by the salt air, created a covered path along the weathered wooden planks that led to the dunes. The post-storm surf was loud and angry looking. Few people were visible as far as my old eyes could see. There were no visible structures save the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, at 208 feet it was hard to miss, even though it was almost ten miles distant. I set up the chair and immediately jumped into the maelstrom, even at low tide it was powerful. The surf was strong but invigorating. The sky was in turmoil all day. The sun remained over the sea and the dark boiling clouds stayed just off the beach. Each feinting towards the other like a supernatural battle between ancient Greek gods.
   Eventually, after a couple hours, people decided to come out and the beach began to fill with sunseekers and 4WD trucks. I wanted to drive on the beach myself and went back and grabbed the 4Runner. Even though the signs said to lower my tire pressure to 20 or less, I went with 30. I have spent years driving in the sands of the various places on this earth and knew I could always lower it more if I needed. I shifted into 4LO and locked the differential. The truck came alive. Like it wanted to play, but I restrained myself,barely. It felt almost visceral, Modern Machine v. Mother Nature. It was a draw. Eventually I parked and went swimming at least three more times, enjoying more lime laced Coronas between my otter-like frolics. I watched the tide reach its zenith and start regressing in the never-ending cycle.
   Alas, it came to pass that the sun dropped a little lower. I had used some suntan lotion earlier but my frequent swims must have scrubbed it off. I burned...badly. I didn't care, still don't, though I look like a lobster and feel like a recently boiled one.
   I went back and ruined a steak on the grill. When it was good and dark, I returned to the beach and stared at the stars. I think I could see every one of them. No moon and no light pollution makes for a dynamic nightime sky. Cassiopeia confirmed Polaris and I confirmed my relative insignificance in the overall scheme of things. Finally I returned to the tent, and this time I was able to just use the tent screens and enjoyed the sea breeze blowing across my recently toasted carcass. About 4am the rain began again, but I didn't care. I slept like the dead as water dripped on me here and there.
   When I packed up in the morning I was thankful that I'd had these two days and was sad to drive away.
 








































I burned some that day.

I have a whole lot more to post and a lot more project to go yet. Have to take off friday for a week but I'll keep you guys posted.

Goatdog

















Copyright 1972

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 10:30:30 PM »
Great build Goatdog!  You picked a great platform to start with!

Two suggestions for your build:

1) ARB air lockers to give you instant TRUE 4 wheel drive at the touch of a button.  This is kind of a permanent ( ie, expensive to remove ) mod, but if you ever need it, and don't have it, you'll wish you had it ( did that make sense?  ???  ) this might be a good time to re-gear your axles depending on how tall you go in the tire dept.

2) An ARB ( or equivalent ) all steel bumper front, and rear with D-rings, and the works.  The kind of bumpers you can use to push your way through stuff, or use in combination with your high-lift jack to lift your truck up.

Just my $.02

Good luck with yer' build!

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 10:43:17 PM »
I appreciate your comments C-Right 72. I have debated back and forth on the ARB bumper (or ShrockWorks). I can afford it and I love the look. It just screams "Prepper here...come and steal me!"

I may be a little paranoid about that. It is part of the reason i wish to hide the winch inside, I always have. Still undecided. Maybe just a bull bar, maybe the full ARB.

The air lockers are something I'm still reading up on. I need to maintain normal highway gearing because i drive that 505 miles a couple times a month. I really can't make the truck too off-road oriented, just capable above the average. I am intensely studying the six bugout routes I have picked out and focusing on the tougher terrain. The worst stuff is here on the coast and in the mountains near my destination. In between is just farm country.

I really have no rock crawling plans as things would have to go seriously wrong for that to happen.

I guess i'm saying i'm undecided on how much capability might be needed. I'll probably have a few questions for you on the air lockers soon.

homeshow

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 07:25:25 AM »
what about extra/auxiliary fuel?  say you get to go the long long long way home.  what's the range on your vehicle?  does it have the biggest gas tank  they make for that model?   a bigger gas tank is a easy swap and no one will know.

Offline archer

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 12:51:32 PM »
That is a sweet ride GoatDog! Keep us updated.

Offline TrashCanMan

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 01:00:13 PM »
Really enjoyed reading this.  Thanks, Goatdog :)

I'm midway through a VW BOV restoration/upgrade.  I really like the false floor idea.  How is the board held in place or does it stay in place under its own weight?

edit - forgot to add a +1 :)

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 03:24:18 PM »
what about extra/auxiliary fuel?  say you get to go the long long long way home.  what's the range on your vehicle?  does it have the biggest gas tank  they make for that model?   a bigger gas tank is a easy swap and no one will know.

Fair question. I have six 5 gallon GI cans for fuel. They'll mount on the receiver hitch rack (holds 500 lbs). It has a 23 gallon tank (only choice, no upgrades). I can normally get home on about 24-25 gallons. The 30 extra in the cans gives me a cushion that makes me feel better. In my epic quest to get home post=SHTF, a 5 gallon can of fuel will have some value. I wouldn't wait until I needed to fill up to use the cans. I'd add 5 gallons everytime the tank would take it to minimize the risk of losing my extra for some reason. There really isn't room for more gas tank anywhere in or under that truck.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 03:28:30 PM »
Really enjoyed reading this.  Thanks, Goatdog :)

I'm midway through a VW BOV restoration/upgrade.  I really like the false floor idea.  How is the board held in place or does it stay in place under its own weight?

edit - forgot to add a +1 :)

It holds its own but I added four small metal brackets, one at each support leg and two across the rear. Currently needs a Phillips screwdriver to take em off but looking for some type of quick release buckle setup. I do not need to take out or lift the floor to access any of my stuff under there. There is access from both sides.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2009, 03:57:27 PM »
You need to know how jealous I am of your camping trip.  You can DRIVE on the BEACH out there?  What is this world coming to, when a Californian is shocked that you're allowed to drive on the beach.  *sigh*

And the storm?  On the sea?  While you're in your tent?  Good Lord man, that's almost indecent, it sounds so wonderful.

I'd dig plenty of graves to experience that.  There is nothing (NOTHING) like lightning on the Ocean.  Used to live right on the water in Long Beach (our condo had 2 boat slips, and our view was literally the ocean on all three sides that had windows). Ocean storms are bar none my favorite thing on earth to watch.  Specially when it's from my living room, with a nice fire going in the fireplace, and all the lights out.  We'd all sit there in the living room, staring out the bay windows crying "OOOOOH! Didju see THAT one?!" every time another lightning flash happened.  *sigh*  That's the only thing I'm gonna miss about California.

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2009, 03:59:49 PM »
Dude, you never stop causing my jaw to drop open and the word, "wow" falling out.

All this and you're a poet too.
Quote
I awoke to the sound of the surf. It was cloudy out but I made some coffee and debated ending my trip right then and there. As if to answer, God sent a shaft of light right onto my tent. I decided to stay. I packed me a little ditty bag for the beach and hiked down the boardwalk. The gnarly growth stunted trees, ravaged by the salt air, created a covered path along the weathered wooden planks that led to the dunes. The post-storm surf was loud and angry looking. Few people were visible as far as my old eyes could see. There were no visible structures save the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, at 208 feet it was hard to miss, even though it was almost ten miles distant. I set up the chair and immediately jumped into the maelstrom, even at low tide it was powerful. The surf was strong but invigorating. The sky was in turmoil all day. The sun remained over the sea and the dark boiling clouds stayed just off the beach. Each feinting towards the other like a supernatural battle between ancient Greek gods.

GoatDog
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A true Renaissance Man

Just one question. Do you sometimes wear a mask and a cape?

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2009, 04:04:48 PM »
Great project, still downloading the pictures even though I have fast DSL.  >:(

Brilliant idea on the front tow hitch. You would be surprised at the number of people even in farm and ranch country who don't even think about doing something like that. It will be handy. Just make sure the hitches are capable of supporting the capacity of the winch. No sense getting a 2000 pound hitch setup for a winch that can handle 5000 pounds.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 04:14:19 PM by pathfinder »

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2009, 04:05:54 PM »
You need to know how jealous I am of your camping trip.  You can DRIVE on the BEACH out there?  What is this world coming to, when a Californian is shocked that you're allowed to drive on the beach.  *sigh*

And the storm?  On the sea?  While you're in your tent?  Good Lord man, that's almost indecent, it sounds so wonderful.

I'd dig plenty of graves to experience that.  There is nothing (NOTHING) like lightning on the Ocean.  Used to live right on the water in Long Beach (our condo had 2 boat slips, and our view was literally the ocean on all three sides that had windows). Ocean storms are bar none my favorite thing on earth to watch.  Specially when it's from my living room, with a nice fire going in the fireplace, and all the lights out.  We'd all sit there in the living room, staring out the bay windows crying "OOOOOH! Didju see THAT one?!" every time another lightning flash happened.  *sigh*  That's the only thing I'm gonna miss about California.

I thought I was the only one. I love watching the weather when it gets angry. I think California beaches are really nice and different than the East Coast beaches.

The beaches in northern Panama and Costa Rica are my favorites though.

They tried to outlaw beach driving here, but it was met with a very loud roar. They do it around sea turtle egg laying season and all is well. You could drive down to the Baja Peninsula and get some beach driving in.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2009, 04:08:54 PM »
Just one question. Do you sometimes wear a mask and a cape?

Was that you peeping in my bedroom window?

Perv... ;D

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2009, 04:36:17 PM »
I thought I was the only one. I love watching the weather when it gets angry.

My papa used to take us storm chasing when my brothers and I were very wee.  My mother would have an absolute cow, but papa never listened.  Storm chasing was the only thing he ever really put his foot down about.  I never grew out of it.  It's in my blood, I think.  I love the smell of the desert right after a thunderstorm, and the way your heart races when you know it's gonna be a hell of a show (even before it happens.  Maybe especially right before it happens, when you get storm goosebumps all over), and I love weather sirens, when everybody else is scared out of their pants because the sky is emitting moisture and electricity (buncha wimps).  But when you can feel the thunder in your bones, and you can see the lightning playing on the water, where there aren't any buildings to interfere, and the sea is reaching up for the shock, and the clouds are reaching down for a drink...  Crispies.  Love it.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2009, 04:56:15 PM »
Great project, still downloading the pictures even though I have fast DSL.  >:(

Brilliant idea on the front tow hitch. You would be surprised at the number of people even in farm and ranch country who don't even think about doing something like that. It will be handy. Just make sure the hitches are capable of supporting the capacity of the winch. No sense getting a 2000 pound hitch setup for a winch that can handle 5000 pounds.

The best I found for the front was a 3500 lb. I don't anticipate needing more than that but will keep looking until I actually purchase one.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2009, 05:03:36 PM »
My papa used to take us storm chasing when my brothers and I were very wee.  My mother would have an absolute cow, but papa never listened.  Storm chasing was the only thing he ever really put his foot down about.  I never grew out of it.  It's in my blood, I think.  I love the smell of the desert right after a thunderstorm, and the way your heart races when you know it's gonna be a hell of a show (even before it happens.  Maybe especially right before it happens, when you get storm goosebumps all over), and I love weather sirens, when everybody else is scared out of their pants because the sky is emitting moisture and electricity (buncha wimps).  But when you can feel the thunder in your bones, and you can see the lightning playing on the water, where there aren't any buildings to interfere, and the sea is reaching up for the shock, and the clouds are reaching down for a drink...  Crispies.  Love it.

Very eloquent SW. Glad your Dad didn't let the TV suck the life out of you. Kids these days don't get outside enough.

I was pointing out to some folks the other night how to navigate with the moon and stars and they were astounded. They had never heard about doing it that way. My father pointed out a lot of that stuff to me. I just ran with it because of my obsessiveness with subjects that currently interest me. I have a tendency to grasp a subject and chew it up like a pit bull until I know all I care to know. With my kids, I have occasional"Training Days" and frequent "Training Minutes" that used to make them groan, but now they ask when the next one is coming up.

Offline chris

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2009, 05:14:10 PM »
Biggest improvment I can see would be a lift kit. You already mentioned doing it. My stock Jeep was pretty good off-road, but the lift kit made a jy-normous improvement. It climbs small buildings now. I'd skip the snorkel. They're good but only if the water level stays below the electronics. Older vehicles can run through water fine and the snorkel keeps the air flowing. If you're electronics get wet, getting air won't make a hill of beans. Unless you rewire and move everything "up", I don't see how the snorkel will help at all.

Goatdog62

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2009, 05:22:18 PM »
Biggest improvment I can see would be a lift kit. You already mentioned doing it. My stock Jeep was pretty good off-road, but the lift kit made a jy-normous improvement. It climbs small buildings now. I'd skip the snorkel. They're good but only if the water level stays below the electronics. Older vehicles can run through water fine and the snorkel keeps the air flowing. If you're electronics get wet, getting air won't make a hill of beans. Unless you rewire and move everything "up", I don't see how the snorkel will help at all.

I'm thinking 2" is what I'll do for a lift, anymore than that will affect daily enjoyment. I've lifted others before. Probably go with an Old Man Emu kit (OME).

The Expedition Portal guys use the snorkels on their 4Runners. I haven't read much about raising the electronics, but I will now. Thanks for the heads up.

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2009, 05:34:47 PM »
My papa used to take us storm chasing when my brothers and I were very wee.  My mother would have an absolute cow, but papa never listened.  Storm chasing was the only thing he ever really put his foot down about.  I never grew out of it.  It's in my blood, I think.  I love the smell of the desert right after a thunderstorm, and the way your heart races when you know it's gonna be a hell of a show (even before it happens.  Maybe especially right before it happens, when you get storm goosebumps all over), and I love weather sirens, when everybody else is scared out of their pants because the sky is emitting moisture and electricity (buncha wimps).  But when you can feel the thunder in your bones, and you can see the lightning playing on the water, where there aren't any buildings to interfere, and the sea is reaching up for the shock, and the clouds are reaching down for a drink...  Crispies.  Love it.
Damn, I love to watch and feel the energy of storms.. Maybe wit the coming El Nino I'll go to the coast and watch/experience a few properly.

Offline chris

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2009, 06:13:11 PM »
The Expedition Portal guys use the snorkels on their 4Runners. I haven't read much about raising the electronics, but I will now. Thanks for the heads up.

I've seen lots of guys with snorkels, who only get their 4x4's wet when it rains. I've seen people say it gets better gas mileage because your're pulling air from outside instead of the engine compartment, so maybe it's good for morethan preventing hydrolock. I did a trip with a guy in his Ford with a snorkel, and about the time the water hit the dash, the whole vehicle shut down. YMMV. I had water up to the bottom of the seats in my Cherokee without a hitch (with a 6 inch lift kit). I don't have a snorkel, so I'm a bit leery of pushing it. I spent half a day pulling a Laredo out of the same creek (2 inch lift kit). I'm not a 4runner fan, so I have no idea how vulnerable it is to water. Although if someone gave me an FJ, I'd become a fan in a hurry.

I have a buddy who's a serious 4runner offroader, and I'll ask him.

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2009, 06:24:33 PM »
Damn, I love to watch and feel the energy of storms.. Maybe wit the coming El Nino I'll go to the coast and watch/experience a few properly.

You've got a hell of a coastline to watch up there too.  I think it gets more violent up by you than it does down by me.  Lucky ducky.  ;)

Alright, threadjack over.  Back to your regularly scheduled BOV.

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Re: Goatdog's Project 505
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2009, 07:59:45 PM »
 ;D